Co-Organized by the Postgraduate Programme in Curating and Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst
The history of art has been constructed as a discipline through the analysis of individual artists and their autonomous objects and images, which are assigned to chronological periods and stylistic tendencies. Scholars have also begun to write the history of exhibitions alongside that of art. By contrast, the project of a history of exhibitions made by artists has been slow to take off. Why? Perhaps because our theoretical and historical ideas about that thing we call an “exhibition” have undergone a transformation in the twentieth century under the influence of artists from Marcel Duchamp to Yves Klein and from Martha Rosler to David Hammons. This lecture looks at a few examples in an attempt to discuss how and when and why the “exhibition”—which had so long been deemed a mere frame that was inextricably bound up with the mundane pragmatics of administration and supposedly less “pure” and “creative” than an artwork—became an artistic form.
Los Angeles-born Elena Filipovic is the director of Kunsthalle Basel. Prior to her new position, Filipovic served as senior curator at the WIELS Contemporary Art Centre in Brussels. In 2008 she and Adam Szymczyk were co-curators of the 5th Berlin Biennale.